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Sunday, July 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Former Bing manager sues for wrongful termination

Businessman Jerry Dicker, left, and theater manager Michael Smith walk down the ramp from the balcony Monday, Dec. 18, 2012, at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, Wash. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Businessman Jerry Dicker, left, and theater manager Michael Smith walk down the ramp from the balcony Monday, Dec. 18, 2012, at the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, Wash. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Former Bing Crosby Theater general manager Michael Smith has filed a lawsuit alleging he was denied overtime pay and then fired when he refused to go along with a scheme to divert money owed to film companies.

The lawsuit filed this week names Gerald Dicker, president of Davenport District Hospitality Inc., and his wife, Patty Dicker, as defendants. The suit says even though Smith was general manager, Jerry Dicker ran the theater.

Smith said he did clerical work, cleaned bathrooms, sold tickets and did other manual labor, often for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and never received overtime pay.

The lawsuit accuses Dicker of forming the nonprofit Friends of the Bing in part to avoid paying film rental fees. It alleges that Dicker instructed Smith to pay $8 of each $10 movie ticket to the Friends of the Bing as a production fee in order to avoid paying the film companies 50 percent of the gross ticket sales as required by contract.

Smith alleges that Dicker instructed him to shoot video of artist performances and post the videos to the Bing’s social media and website, which legally can be done only with the permission of the artist, the lawsuit states. Smith said he was fired in October 2015 after he refused to post such a video online without the artist’s permission.

The lawsuit requests lost wages, unpaid overtime and damages for emotional distress. Dicker did not respond to a message seeking comment.

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